We get to see how the New York fire alarm system works, followed by a very good immitation of the opening of a Police Squad episode (or a Naked Gun movie, I wondered where they got that idea), including a reversed up-side-down sequence. Then a scene of fighting a five-alarmer. (Did anyone else notice the fire scene is backwards, notice the 'Garage' sign.)
***** for doing the scene 64 years before P.S.
October 31, 2005 Subject:
Where's the Fire? Oh, There It Is!
This collection of silent footage of the New York Fire Department during the 30s is a lot of fun to watch. The first section feature technical details of the fire alarm system. Then it gets really exciting, as we get to ride in the fire chiefs car, viewing its rapid journey through the streets from the perspective of a camera mounted on the dashboard. This is exciting footage, not just because of its high speed but because the streets are snow-covered, the car has to go up on the sidewalk periodically to get past traffic jams (watch out, pedestrians!), and the action goes inexplicably upside-down at one point. Then we get to see the firemen fight a five-alarm warehouse fire. This is all a very historically interesting look into firefighting practices of the period, as well as being as exciting as, well, watching a fire.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
January 6, 2004 Subject:
The Prelinger gods were listening to me!
After a brief (but interesting) glimpse at how fire stations recorded alarms around 1925, we get MORE of Chief Kenlon's ride! Those of you paying attention know that the original Chief Kenlon's ride film (which is located on this site) had 2:30 seconds of amazing camera mounted on the hood footage of him RACING to get to a fire! Well in THIS! It's LENGTHENED to 4 minutes now! More great footage is here (including an upside down sequence!). Some footage here will remind you, of all things. of the French Connection. After that, is the same fire they were battling at the end of the original Chief kenlon movie.